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Article 36 of the Euratom Treaty

Article 36 of the EURATOM treaty requires the competent authorities of each Member State to provide regularly the environmental radioactivity monitoring data resulting from their Article 35 obligations to the European Union, to keep it informed on the levels of radioactivity in the environment (air, water and soil) which could affect population.

The communication of these measurement data by Member States enables the European Commission to evaluate the exposure of population and to compare the levels of radioactivity in different Member States.

Environmental data

On the basis of the transmitted data and in close co-operation with its Joint Research Centre (JRC-ITU), the European Commission, publishes periodical reports on the levels of radioactivity in the EU.

The REM (Radioactivity Environmental Monitoring) project was launched after the Chernobyl accident (26 April 1986) with the goal of facilitating the information exchange between Member States and the European Commission. The Commission's role is to provide validated data on the levels of radioactivity in the environment of its Member States.

Since 2009, Member States can manage the data they sent to the REM data base directly within the system.

The transmission and presentation of data provided by telemetric systems for environmental radioactivity monitoring in the Member States as well as in some other countries (such as measurement values for ambient gamma dose rate) are managed within the EURDEP system (EUropean Radiological Data Exchange Platform). EURDEP also plays an important role for the data communication in case of an accident or incident where it allows supplying data within the ECURIE system (European Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange) in an efficient way.

Data on radioactive discharges

Nuclear sites, in particular nuclear power stations and reprocessing sites, may discharge airborne and liquid radioactive effluents into the environment on condition that these discharge operations abide by regulatory conditions and restrictions as defined in the their respective operating licenses. The European Commission holds the view that the environment starts where radioactive discharges leave operational control i.e. at the last measurement points that quantify these discharges. Consequently these discharge measurement points are deemed to be environmental monitoring devices, the results of which shall be communicated to the European Commission.

The Commission's RAdioactive Discharges Database (RADD) compiles information on releases into the environment of radioactive substances in airborne and liquid effluents from Nuclear Power Stations (with a capacity greater than 50 MWe) as well as from Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing Sites. In order to provide a useful time span the database contains information from 1995 onwards. For new Member States, information is present starting from the respective accession years: 2004 or 2007. In 2004 the European Commission issued Recommendation 2004/2/Euratom pdf, providing guidance to Member States on the reporting of discharges of radioactive nuclides. In its design RADD reflects the scope of this Recommendation and presents the data accordingly.

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